Ever since Spotify was founded back in 2006, it has become the most curious of beasts. Despite becoming the website which, in many ways, saved the majors from a very bleak future as everything went digital during the 2000s, it has never made a single penny worth of profit.
This is incredibly unusual – and something which would be probed were it to happen in almost any other sector of the economy. The success of Spotify, and the streaming industry more widely, seems to become more pivotal each year – mostly because no one has any other ideas for growth right now.
A few weeks ago, Ears To The House reported on a number of changes that Spotify was introducing from 2024 – and one of those was a minimum number of streams a song would need before payouts started being made. At the time, no number had been confirmed, but Music Business Worldwide has now found out the truth – that number will be 1000 streams per year.
For the likes of Taylor Swift, Doja Cat, Drake, Olivia Rodrigo, or anyone else in the pop charts, they need not worry. But for those in more underground scenes where the numbers on streaming aren’t great and the pay is already poor, things are about to get even worse.
Now, it’s true that no artist has some kind of divine right to have their music on Spotify – and how they run their business is up to them. But for Daniel Ek and his company to suddenly decide it’s going to keep the money for any songs that get 999 streams or less in a year just doesn’t sit right with us.
But now that this is here, how long will it be until Spotify introduce a new limit of 2000 plays per song in a year? Could a 5000 play threshold be conceivable, or even 10,000 plays per year? They’ve just joined a slippery slope, and no one quite knows how slippery or how steep it even is…